5 Alternatives To Visualization And Meditation

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by Melody Fletcher on September 26, 2013

 

Awesome Sophie’s burning question: “Is there any way around visualizing and meditating to achieve what you want?  I can’t quite get myself to do it consistently.” 

Dear Awesome Sophie,

We have to always remember, and I’m happy to remind you over and over again, that both visualization and meditation are merely tools, to help us achieve certain vibrational states. While both are extremely helpful, neither one is required in order for us to consciously and deliberately receive what we want.

When you can’t visualize or meditate

Some people just aren’t visually inclined. They don’t “see” their dreams, fantasies or desires. They don’t create visual images of the things they want. Does this mean they can’t manifest anything? Well, considering that everything in our current reality was created for and drawn to us by us, and I do mean EVERYTHING, and considering that we probably didn’t visualize every single detail that showed up in our world today, it stands to reason that visualization isn’t necessary for manifestation.

In my article on What Visualization Really Is, I explain that the act of visualizing is simply a way for us to ferret out and release resistance. When we visualize, we are able to “see” what our vibration is in the process of creating before it actually becomes physical. By changing the visualization and practicing the new vision until it feels good (not discordant), we are actually able to change our vibration. As such, visualization is certainly a fantastic tool. But again, certainly not the only one in our metaphorical tool box, and not even necessarily the best one.

Likewise, meditation, while incredibly useful, is also merely a tool, which allows us to stop doing what it is we’re doing that’s keeping us from lining up with Who We Really Are (and everything we want). You see, our natural state is one of well-being, alignment, super-duper happiness and happy shiny puppies. If we are not currently living that reality, it’s not because we’re not doing enough to make that happen, it’s because we’re doing something that’s keeping that from happening. When we meditate, we stop thought, and by doing so, we automatically stop whatever thought is currently contradicting our highest selves. Meditation is an extraordinarily effective tool to help us practice the state of allowing, that state in which we’re not contradicting what we want. The more we practice that state, the easier it is for us to allow what we want to flow to us.

But what if you don’t like to meditate? What if you find it boring, can’t quiet your mind, fall asleep every time, or simply feel reluctant to do it? Does that mean you’re broken, too resistant to help yourself, or just not ready to join the enlightened crowd? No. Many of my clients have issues meditating. They just don’t like it. And you know what? That’s totally ok. There is no one way to do ANYTHING that works for everyone. We each get to find our own joyous path. Why would attuning ourselves to our higher selves be any different?

The tools we use aren’t important. What’s important is the state they help us to achieve. So, if you’ve always had trouble visualizing or meditating, here are 5 alternatives that will help you to achieve the exact same states of mind, and which you may find more effective for you:

#1 – Meditation Alternative: Music

You may not have ever thought of music as a tool, but it’s actually a great way to deliberately feel better. All pieces of music have their own vibration. Listening to a song LITERALLY helps to attune you to different frequencies. Are these wanted or unwanted frequencies? Well, if the music you’re listening to makes you feel better, then you’ve chosen wanted frequencies. As you can see, this is a very subjective thing, and will even change from day to day or moment to moment for the same person. Thank Gawd we have so many different kinds of music! Choose music that makes you feel really good, make a playlist of it and listen to it often. Make sure you update this playlist regularly, and switch out any songs that no longer give you that boost. As you acclimate and raise your vibration on a permanent level, the music that once uplifted you will just leave you feeling kind of blah. When that happens, you’ll have to upgrade.

Spending time listening to music that makes you feel really good and losing yourself in it, will be just as beneficial to you as formal meditation. In fact, that feeling of losing time signifies that you were fully present in the NOW, which is another way of describing what meditation helps us to do. When we are fully in the NOW, we no longer resist the NOW. The benefit of music is that it can also help to move you up the emotional scale, no matter where you are. If you’re stuck in powerlessness, then anger will feel good to you. Choosing songs that help you feel that anger so it can be released will help you to feel a lot better. Screaming profanities to the sounds of death metal may not seem to have anything in common with the calm of meditation, but if that’s what you need in order to shift your energy to a higher place, it will serve the same purpose (when a person in that state meditates regularly, it will increase the anger that comes up the rest of the day, therefore assisting that individual with having their necessary anger release.)

#2 – Meditation Alternative: Zoning Out

People who have trouble formally meditating are often overthinking it to the nth degree, putting stress on themselves to find time when the kids aren’t bugging them, sitting in the “correct” way, choosing the “right” time of day, and trying to get their minds to shut the hell up. Amidst all that judgment and restriction, meditation becomes next to impossible.

If this sounds like you, let me ask you the question I ask my clients in this situation: are there any activities such as housecleaning, gardening, doing the dishes, ironing, golfing, walking the dog, etc., during which you just “zone out”? Do you ever just go all spacey, while continuing to do some mundane activity? Do you ever just kind of lose yourself in the moment? If so, congratulations, you’ve achieved the meditative state. Will this be akin to the deepest possible states which practiced Yogis achieve? No. But unless that’s your passion, there’s no need for you to go that deep. Remember, it’s all about stopping those contradictory thoughts. When you go all blank and dreamy while watering your plants, you’re there. You’ve almost certainly “meditated” quite successfully many times in your life. And yes, it really is that simple. Everything that truly works, is. People often spend years and years doing very complicated things to learn just how simple the workings of the Universe really are.

Seek out the activities that help you zone out deliberately and on a consistent basis, as a way to help you get into a calm state, and you’ll be supporting your personal growth just as much as if you spent time in the lotus position every day.

#3 – Visualization Alternative: Positive “What If” Questions

This is a technique I explored on this blog fairly recently, but it’s so incredibly effective, it bears repeating. The whole purpose of visualization is to help you figure out where your current vibration is at, and then facilitate the shifting of it by changing the envisioned experience to one you prefer. Asking positive “What If” questions is a great way to accomplish the second part of that equation (asking yourself how you really feel and answering honestly, as well as looking at your current physical manifestations, allows you accomplish the first).

When you actively try to defy one of your beliefs by simply stating its opposite, your brain may well rebel. If the belief isn’t very strong, it might just crumble, but if it’s a pretty practiced one, you’ll have a fight on your hands. An affirmation such as “I love myself!”, will simply garner a “No, you don’t!”. You can’t just bombard your brain with messages it “knows” not to be true and expect it to simply roll over and surrender. Your brain is made of stronger stuff than that, and besides, it’s doing what it thinks is best for you, based on the rules you and those around you fed it. But, if you ask yourself “What if I loved myself?”, your brain has nothing to fight. This is not a statement, it’s a question and your brain wants to answer questions (your brain is actually very helpful). If you haven’t been positively focused in a while, you may not get an instant answer (let your mind shift gears first), but keep at it for just a few minutes and you’ll be able to affect some powerful shifts in a very small amount of time. It’s the fastest way I’ve ever found to stop negative momentum and turn someone’s energy around on a dime.

#4 – Visualization Alternative: Vision Boards

I know, I know, you’ve all heard about vision boards. Everyone and their mom has a blog post or video about doing vision boards. I promise not to bore you death with the same old details, but the process of making a vision board can be a powerful tool to help you align your vibration with what you want. Notice, I said “the process of making the vision board”. Once the vision board is done, it can actually lose a lot of its oomph. Just as a particular song can uplift you for weeks and then suddenly leave you flat, a particular vision board will often work for only a limited amount of time. Don’t worry, this is normal.

The basic idea of creating a vision board is to choose some images or even just words that represent the feeling of what you want. Remember: the goal is to achieve a certain state, so choose images and representations that actually give you a little charge, not ones that just seem like they should work because they basically represent the thing you want. Finding just the right images can take a considerable amount of time. But in doing so, you’re defining what you want in great detail (as opposed to what you don’t want) and actively looking for “evidence” or representations of those manifestations. You can then paste these images and words onto a poster board and put it someplace where you’ll look at it every day. For some people, looking at the board on a regular basis really helps them to reinforce the feelings they want to achieve. For others, the board itself does very little. I maintain that the real “work” is done in the creation of the board and in the finding and choosing of just the right images. Spending a couple of hours (or even a few days!) focusing in such a positive way, can create a lot of powerful, positive momentum.

#5 – Visualization Alternative: Play Acting

I’ve saved the best for last. This is my favorite technique. Consider it visualizing on steroids. And don’t worry, you don’t actually have to get on a stage or involve other people (although you can, if you want to…).

Essentially, this technique is all about playing pretend, just as you did when you were a kid: Imagine that you’re in a situation in the future, and you’re telling someone about this thing you want, from the perspective that it’s already happened. You can pretend that someone is interviewing you, or that you’re at a party and telling a friend about it. Instead of having to “see” yourself in these situations, you can actually act them out. The more you get into character, the more fun this will be. Smile, laugh, joke about how easy it all was in the end, how you see now that there was never any way it wouldn’t work out, how amazingly it all came together.

Now, just as with visualizations, watch for any evidence of resistance. For example, if you find yourself telling the story of how hard you worked, how many obstacles you overcame, or how you made it despite the odds being against you, you’re playing out a belief that struggle and suffering are components of success. If you catch yourself going down that road, make a deliberate effort to change the script and talk about how easy it was, how relieved you are and how you learned to let go and trust and enjoy the ride early on.

If you want to take this exercise to a whole different level, you can invite some like-minded friends over and have a “Future Party”, where you all agree to support one another in your manifestations. So, for example, I might declare at the beginning of the party that I’ve just published my 5th best seller, and instead of picking the story apart and challenging how I did it, the people at the party would simply congratulate me and ask questions that would allow me to bask in the glory of my “accomplished” goal (for example: “How does it feel to be a famous author?”, or “After so much success, what inspires you now?”). I once read Jack Canfield attended a party with other now very famous people, where they all pretended that their 5 year goals had all come true. They had actors playing paparazzi, wore evening gowns and had waiters. In other words, they went full out. The account went on to state that every single person who had attended this party went on to meet and/or exceed those goals.

Of course, in order to express to someone what it is that you’ve accomplished, you have to get clear on what it is you want. Don’t worry about filling in too many of the details. For example, I can pretend to have published my 5th book without knowing what the title or even subject of that book would be. Or, I can make up a temporary title which feels good to me, with the understanding that it could change to something even better. For example, people at Jack Canfield’s party apparently even went so far as to crate props, like actual mock ups of their books, etc., to make it even more real. Not only is this technique fun (SOOOO fun!), but it totally works. And really, what have you got to lose? Why not get “interviewed” today?

Bottom line

Visualization and meditation are amazing tools. This is why almost every spiritual teacher talks about them. But they’re by no means the only way to achieve the desired results – and that’s really the point. The tools themselves are kind of irrelevant. If one doesn’t work for you, find another one. The point of the whole exercise is what those tools do for you, what states they help you to achieve. Stubbornly forcing yourself to use techniques that don’t resonate with you, just because others have found them useful, is really missing the point. Remember: this is supposed to be fun. All of it. You don’t have to “suffer” through the process in order to get to the fun someday. The fun starts NOW. Right here. So relax and enjoy yourself. That’ll already get you half way there… :)

{ 22 comments }

Will September 27, 2013 at 00:05

Hustling a motorbike through the twisties does it for me (sorry if I’m repeating but I love it) this seems to black out other rational, thinking “channels” or another one that works is when I have to lay tubes out for an underfloor heating system (at times, at the end of the day, I ask myself what I’ve been thinking about for the last six hours and the answer is zilch, but I must have been in contact with something!)

Slightly off topic, I recently recovered a piece of music that does something else, seemingly of vital importance at least to me. The music is a rock/jazz jam from the early 70s which is totally discordant and very difficult to accept at first (and for a long time after…) because it never pleases you in the obvious way, meaning that it never reassures you like most music that we enjoy listening to. The first 50 (!) times you listen to it it makes you feel very uncomfortable, it challenges you to question why you are listening to it in the first place, but further on you come to realize that it’s not just challenging your musical taste but is in fact challenging all your preconceptions about what you like and why and for what reason. From time to time a riff will start that seems to give you a certain relief, recognition, reassurance but almost immediately you are thrown back into a state of confusion when the melody just doesn’t continue. Finally you can only come to the conclusion that what it shows you is that dependence on external inputs (“easy” music that makes you feel good) to keep you going is pure fiction, and that you have to feel good about yourself, from inside, and celebrate (dancing!) that it has shown you how to abandon your reasons for living (reasons for loving someone etc) so that you can simply live in the oft-cited here and now. Why do we need reasons? Can’t we just feel, listen to the inner voice? Weird, but effective!
Don’t forget to have fun!

B September 27, 2013 at 00:32

I often find myself listening to quite depressing music. I love upbeat music too, but I’m a lover of lyrics, I love words, and a lot of depressing songs have the most beautiful lyrics, so I find myself in this rather confusing mish-mash state of bliss, beauty and sadness. Not totally sure if it’s beneficial or not, I’m a pretty deep thinker and words keep me thinking for a long time. When those words are not of the happy shiny puppy variety, it’s probably not good, but the beauty of the lyrics almost make the happy songs dull xD!

The Future Party sounds totally awesome fun though, might try to manifest some awesome new friends to join me at such an event xD!

fs September 27, 2013 at 01:16

I really enjoy when my 10 year old is playing with her imaginary happy shiny boxer puppy:-) she really wants this kind of dog..and she is great in manifesting what she wants, so maybe I should already buy a dog dish or a leash:-)

Mike September 27, 2013 at 03:32

Future Party!!! I can’t imagine that not being awesome & what a way to weed out people who don’t think big or won’t play along. They ain’t showing up. Either that or they’ll leave a with a completely different mindset. Or they can show up as a paparazzi, someone’s bodyguard etc.

LOVE the whole mindset of this post! I’ve beat myself up far too many times for not following through on some “action plan” or “technique” I read about that I was told I “must do” to succeed. The veil has been lifted. We all have our OWN success formula. We just have to tune in & recognize what makes us tick :-)

Summer September 27, 2013 at 04:41

Music is my best friend and I zone out pretty regularly. :)

Thank you for these suggestions Melody. I can’t wait to have a “future party”! :)
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Anne September 27, 2013 at 11:00

I love your suggestion of asking “what if?” questions. In fact, I liked it so much, I stopped reading the article and tried it. Voila! It worked! I also make statements such as “I like to feel happy. I like to feel abundant.” The brain doesn’t argue with those statements either. Thanks, Melody!

Erin September 27, 2013 at 11:30

I ask questions like – what would it take for …… to show up? or what would it take for ….. to happen? Don’t be concerned about how or when. There are many many possibilities of how the thing you want will show up or look like. Things I have wanted have manifested literally 2 mins after asking. Literally ask, feel, leave it to the universe to deliver( its usually more than what you asked for) :) How does it get any better than this? and what else is possible? stay in the question :)

SK September 27, 2013 at 11:37

meditation only work intermittently but when it does, it works good.
Music works well for me.

Whenever I do, I get to this inner space where I feel an inner calm and inner joy. I never know what to call it but it’s always a pleasant feeling.

is this the base-line emotion?
and we human stack our own artificial layer of emotions on top?

Is this what it feels like be source energy?

does any one know?

Judy September 27, 2013 at 12:46

It’s working (playing, actually) with my plants that does it for me. I can go outside at the crack of dawn and before I know it — when only an hour or two at the absolute most has passed, I swear it, — someone ends up hunting me down, whining about how the sun’s going down and where’s their supper.
During those “actual” 12-14 hours or so, I’m completely lost in the awesomeness of it all. I get tasks accomplished, but more than that, I get to listen to the birds, bugs, and breezes, I smell all the wonderful dirt smells, flower smells, fruit smells, herb smells. I love looking at all the sparkly little parts of the soil and try to imagine what “jobs” all the little tiny critters living in it do. Every time I sit for a minute to watch the flowers’ auras, I’m blown into oblivion by the awesomeness. It’s simply a never-ending source of pure joy and appreciation. I’m completely unaware of anything else.
Then when I have to get back to obligations in the “real” world, problems are solved, questions answered; all without any effort, thinking, worrying, etc. Poof! Gone. I get all the green lights. I win scratch-offs. Negative people go away.
I don’t know if that would be considered becoming one with source energy, but that’s sure what it feels like for me.

Gayle September 27, 2013 at 13:32

Ok so I am one of those who over think it then coz I can never do the visualize thing. So I just assumed that I must be “one of those” who simply can’t meditate. Who would have thought sitting reading a book or just sitting in the sun with closed eyes listening to nothing was a form of meditation? and ironing? Really? YES!! I actually do zone out while ironing. LOL! Sometimes we can be so closed minded to the things that are right in front of us the we literally can’t see the forest for the trees. Thanks for the eye opener…sorry I meant mind opener.
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Rose September 27, 2013 at 18:45

Melody Fletcher ‘needs’ to clone herself. This universe ‘needs’ more Melodies. The Government should pay for one cloned teacher Melody per person. I think that’s what ‘needs’ to happen. And then pay to clone Melody’s clones into more clones. That is what is the best alternative!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fs September 28, 2013 at 02:39

lol. Great idea:-)

V September 28, 2013 at 01:58

thanks for the awsome post and taking all the pressure off this subject, meditation has to feel good first of all and it is great that it can be approached in so many different ways
all we have to do is choose the one the best suits us

music does it for me, especially when supported by images, like for example youtube videos ,etc. I am not very good at visualizing and static images are not very inspiring to me . Anyway if combined with music they can help create some strong evocative visualizations. I find it easier to be guided like that..

In my own visualizations I also used to try and “twist” images that came up in my mind and had nothing to do with the thing I wanted to visualize into something somehow related… Let’s say I want to visualize a situation but the image of an object keeps popping up ..instead of resisting it or trying to change it I try and make it part of the context I want to visualize, and then take up the rest of the visualization from there. Most times it can only lead to dispersive thoughts but at least it helps release some resistance and relax

SK September 28, 2013 at 03:36

@V

Some time I have a song stuck in my head or a thought/idea stuck in my head.
I’ve found that trying to get rid of it is next to impossible because it keeps looping.
so I tried another approach – the “if you can’t beat it, join it” kind of approach. I would focus on it and repeat it about 100 times before I go to sleep.
What normally happen is either
a) I would have a vivid dream about it. I will witness events unfold in the dream that would push pass the looping point, so I can move on. It feels like I am watching a movie.
b) I would wake up not remembering anything. The thing that was stuck in my head is gone.

Moonsparkle September 28, 2013 at 19:04

Thanks for the alternative suggestions. :) I prefer visualising to mediating. I have a Vision Pad (a pad of paper rather than a board) and I’ve also been using Pintrest a lot lately. I find that sometimes looking at the same pictures a lot can get boring, it’s better if I’ve had a break. It’s a lot of fun “pinning” new pictures!

I love music. :) Ivo Sedlacek’s violin music can put me in a kind of meditative state. The pieces of music are quite long too, around 15 minutes. My favourite song is Dance of Autumn Lights.
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K.S. September 28, 2013 at 19:50

Alternative #1 triggered something for me. I’m a huge music lover, as is my entire family. After I was first introduced to the process of deliberate creation, I thought back to a time when I was a pre-teen back in the early 1990s. It must have been fall or early winter. I came home from school one day and I remember standing on the edge of my bed and thinking, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little money of my own to buy a book or some candy sometime, instead of always asking Mom?” (I wasn’t a kid who got an allowance growing up).

Anyway, after having that thought, I put on a hit song of Kris Kross that I’d taped off the radio (“Jump”), along with Tevin Campbell’s 1990 album and just listened to and enjoyed the music for awhile. Then later that day, I went outside to ride my bike. As I was turning my bike around to go back in the other direction, I saw something light green in the leaves on the curb. At first, I was going to ignore it, but something told me to check it out anyway. And on the ground was either a 5, 10, or 20 dollar bill (I can’t remember the denomination).

I remember looking to my left and right to see if anyone was around who could have dropped it. Then I remember checking the ground to see if a wallet had been displaced (or if any more money could be found). But I remember thinking all the while, “Are you kidding me?” and being so excited and amazed that it just happened for real, out of the blue.

I think that listening to music kept me from dwelling on it and put my vibration in a place where I could manifest it that quickly. (It probably also helps that I wasn’t needy about my desire. I could always just continue asking Mom to buy me things, no big deal).

And I’ve often found that, after certain songs lose their vibrational kick, they can gain it back after you’ve stopped listening for awhile. In fact, this week I’ve been listening to that Tevin Campbell album and falling in love with it all over again.

Jennifer September 30, 2013 at 05:03

I can’t speak to the rest of these yet, but I really appreciate your saying how vision boards do not always freaking work. They’re fun to make, but I honestly cannot say that even one of them has done ANYTHING to make things move for me at all. I have a pile of them that I really should just take out to the garbage for all the good they’ve done me. They’re very pretty and not anything I feel okay with just chucking for strangers, but… I guess they just don’t do anything for my brain. It’s nice to hear that I’m not just completely stupid for not having them work miracles for me. I appreciate your honesty!

Kara October 1, 2013 at 02:23

Thank you SO much! So appreciated this post. It’s easy to over-think the meditating thing, and get stuck on the “how” part.

And I can’t wait to try the party! It’s sounds so incredibly fun! I’ll be one of the ones interviewing the famous attendees for my future show. :)

Kara
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MJ October 8, 2013 at 14:19

Dang it all Melody!

I had this in my email for a long time and hadn’t taken the time to read it. I am honestly blown away by your ideas in this blog. Brilliant! Feels like a gift has been dropped in my lap, and I can’t wait to start playing with it – actually it was my birthday yesterday and I didn’t get anything from anyone – so thank you – best belated birthday gift ever!

MJ

Sebastian October 17, 2013 at 19:41

Omg, I already do all of these. I had no idea these were other forms of visualization. I have noticed that some times I will visualize myself singing a song (while that music is playing) I start getting euphoric.
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Nina November 22, 2013 at 05:09

My favorite is play-acting. I desire and plan to have a large, custom home built to my specifications ASAP. I occasionally imagine that I am showing people around my home in a “Cribs” fashion (once I held a “tour” for over half a hour — I felt I was really there in my yet-to-be-built home). The rest of the time, I just “live” there with my family once every few days. It has gotten to the point where I slip into this visualization for extended periods of time without even trying to as my mind wanders there now (this is after I have been doing this exercise several times daily for months). I love the power of my mind :)

Jack December 7, 2013 at 08:18

This post is a relief, as well as being somewhat galvanizing.

I really had never contemplated the idea that visualization is only one of many tools that can be used interchangeably, but the way you present it makes sense in a way that to me nothing else did.

I am inspired. :-)

Thank you.

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